Monday, December 4, 2017

Random thoughts at 29 days


  1. I've written about a hundred posts in the last two months. None of them have made it onto your screen because who wants to read about other people’s problems? Not me. But I need to get back in the proverbial saddle because I don’t want to lose another constant in my life that’s irreplaceable, and that’s you and this little community we’ve become here over the past 10 years.
  2. I’d like to tell you that I’ve recovered from the loss of Lucy, but I’ve wiped tears off my face a half dozen times in writing this sentence, so that’s not the case. I suppose it’s going to be like this for a long while. Thank goodness for long sleeves.
  3. In 29 days, I will not sit down at my desk at 7:30 a.m. to do the same things I've been doing for the same company for 22.5 years. I don't know what I will be doing instead, but I don't care.
  4. A wise friend (Hi, Brigitte!) reminded me that "Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful, it's ordinary and mundane and routine.’’ I'm not going to declare this round of awful to be over because that would be just plain stupid, but I do think the amazing part will start again soon, if for no other reason than I'll have much better things to do besides work.


51 comments:

  1. Every day will be Saturday, or caturday if you choose. Johnny Cash cat is demonstrating a life lesson. Mindfulness. Each moment is a world if you take time to SEE. We love your posts. I, for one, am ready to see lots more. Counting days is cool too, your next chapter is almost here.

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  2. I have laughed and cried with you over the years I have been visiting this amazing community you have created. Thank you for allowing me into your part of this world. Take care, hugs

    Wendy in Thailand

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  3. So first of all, ''I'' want to hear about your problems. It wonderfully distracts me from my own. Just kidding. It is very difficult to live with a great big gap in your heart, with tears always at the ready, I know and I'm sad that you're going through that. This, too, shall pass. It just sucks in the meantime :) So like you, looking forward to better things, I would love to know what your ideas are about retirement. Someone as creative as you is sure to have a hundred ideas floating around. Care to share? Let's get us all excited about your next step! And remember that should you need ANYTHING, you need only ask: money, visits, time, plane tickets, love, anti-flea collars, support, presents, escape...ANYTHING.

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  4. Haven't seen Smooch in a while. Should I worry?

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    1. Absolutely not. She's thriving.

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    2. Yep, I thought about Smooch too. Glad she is well.

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    3. Aaaah. At least one 100% good news. Hi smoochie ❤️

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    4. An American in Tokyo12/5/17, 12:55 AM

      I was getting worried about Smoochie-poo, too!
      Please give her a hug and a kiss from me!

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  5. It seems in 29 days you’ll be able to do whatever you want with your days. Congratulations on that! It will take whatever time it takes to stop grieving for Lucy but it will get better with time. We’ve all been through devastating loss and it’s a painful process. When you’re ready I think you will have enough love in your heart to welcome a new member into your herd. A new member won’t ever replace Lucy but whether you decide on a horse or a donkey think of all the fun you could have roaming the desert in search of skulls and bones or just enjoying being in the saddle again. Feel better.

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  6. Linda, I have missed your posts, but understand why you have been absent......I check everyday to see if you have returned because your posts about life at 7MSN have become part of my life. Animals are so fragile......I am three years past the death of my 13 year old dog and constant companion, and I can truly say that I am still not "over it". .....and I have not been able to bring another dog into my home because of the grief. If you are retiring in 29 days I say welcome to the club! I retired in July and it is like the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders! You will love it. Wishing you the best, and I hope you are back....we have missed you!

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  7. my heart aches for you in your loss, Lucy was a companion, a beloved companion and the loss will take a long time to ease off a little. hugs to all of you and I am betting the rest of your family misses sweet Lucy also.. JC is looking as beautiful as ever

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  8. Diane K. Eastern NC12/4/17, 5:45 AM

    So glad you are back. We can’t be there to hug you when you need one, whether from sadness or happiness about your retirement, but we are there in our hearts. You are starting a new chapter and I am sure everyone in this online community will enjoy being along for the ride. Happy Trails!

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  9. Sighs too deep for words, and air hugs too tight to breathe...lifting you up in thoughts and prayers, with the hope of good things to come very soon. I check in everyday, and make that 'connection' with you and your world, regardless of whether there is a new post or picture...always with a tender heart for what you are going through. I personally hate change, and struggle when things are thrown into chaos and lopsidedness...but then when the dust settles, it feels so wonderful when thanksgiving, gratitude and joy return. Hoping that comes to you as you find your new normal. You've been through so much with the double whammy of losing Hank and Lucy so close...awful...and now with job change issues on top of it all. Bless your heart. Knowing you will find healing and hope in the fur of your babies...love to all.

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  10. So happy to see your post this morning. Not one bit surprised that tears still fall. When I️ retired, I️ missed the structure it gave to my day...for a little while. Missed a little bit of the conversations. But life is so much better as a retired person. So glad you are doing it while you are young and healthy. I️ too believe you are in for an “amazing” chapter. And very grateful that you will bring us along!! Aunt Jean

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  11. Michelle from Vancouver12/4/17, 6:13 AM

    Grief is a strange thing, hits everyone differently. Don't laugh but I still get misty eyed about an old cantankerous grey cat who destroyed every piece of furniture I had.....he's been gone for 8 years !
    Honestly, I don't mind reading about your problems....it's life and I feel we are all friends here and what are friends for if not to vent !

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  12. This is our first Christmas without our dogs in 14 years. I unpacked their stockings last night and cried and it has been since May. I think their will always be moments of sadness like that. But the joy they brought was non-stop. We are not ready for a new family member yet. But one day...
    So look forward to every story, every photo, happy or sad. None of us get out of this life without the scars of love and loss. We are right there with you!
    Pray that 2018 is a year of new adventures, new opportunities and new friends. You are so talented, I know you will continue to use your gifts! Blessings - Lisa G in TN

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  13. So good to hear from you again, Linda! And we all love you. We are here for you. We don't mind reading about your problems. They probably aren't so different from our problems. And no, none of us expect you to be "over" the loss of Lucy. Lucy was more than a donkey, a pet, a companion. She was your means of getting around the ranch. I don't know how you are managing without her.
    From another donkey owner, endless love,

    Marty in NC

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  14. I echo everyone above. You and I will likely never meet, but you are part of my life. I care about you and join you in feeling intensely about the ups and downs of life. (I can’t think of Lucy or Hank without tearing up. Ditto for our series of beloved dogs.) I’m part of a virtual circle of friends who would like to know what’s happening in your life, but who also know that you can’t share everything. I hope you can feel the warmth of a hug across the miles. And, retirement can be a little jarring, but is truly wonderful. Glad you’re almost there.

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  15. Linda, I grieve with you.

    Laurie, in NB, Canada

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  16. I'd read those hundred posts and be grateful for them. Life isn't always pretty and friends aren't just here for the good bits. It's important to talk about it, if you want to.

    When Tonka died, it broke me. For years. Somehow I smiled at his memory anyway, but it hurt for a long time. I wish we didn't have to let them go. I'm sorry you have to go through this. But it means you had a great love, and I think that it's worth it.

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  17. So many wise words from your followers. I don't have much else to add, except that I miss Hank and Lucy too, and I only knew them thru images and words! You feelings for you are right and true. Keeping you in my thoughts here in PA.

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  18. I don't think we do get over a loss of someone important in our lives and our animals are someones to us. It gets easier but never goes away. It's the price we pay for ever having had them. I wouldn't want to never have had them. I look forward to what you do after retirement-- maybe a book :)

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    1. Oooh, yes! A BOOK! - describing your move from DC to 7MSN and all the mishaps and victories with lots and lots of your beautiful pictures. I'd pre-order one on Amazon right now!

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  19. I am glad you are back. Grief can be such an insular process, it is easy to pretend to be past it. I am excited to follow you on this next phase.

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  20. I'm joining the rest of the group in saying how glad I was to find you in my feedly list this a.m. New grief is hard, but as others have written, time passes between the raw and where you are now, and that is a huge help. I am also retired (4 years), and I really loved the first year of letting go of the stress and have-tos. For the last 3 years, I must admit that I'm still trying to figure out this new stage, but even though it sometimes feels uncomfortable, I'm loving not working. I'm looking forward to reading your journey into this part of your life. I think we all benefit from reading about how others manage and thrive--or not at times.

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  21. So happy for you to be able to retire soon...that is something to be excited about!!!! I feel your pain for the loss of Lucy and so hard to get over. Such good memories you have of her and hopefully that will help you get past the pain.

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  22. It is always comforting to see a new post on 7MSN, as it is a constant in my life too. As for Brigitte's sentence about "Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then...", I loved it when she wrote those lines in your comments previously, and love them still. I think I shall copy them out and pin them above my computer, for the words ring so true with me, and I need to remind myself of them frequently. Welcome back to blogland, Linda.

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  23. Always a treat seeing a morning post.... even if I see it at nearly noon. I too join the rest in saying "bring on the 100." We're big kids and we can handle it and we MIGHT even have some words of wisdom. I kindda doubt that, but Maybe. I got laid off on November 1. I found out right away that I'm not cut out for full retirement (at 63???!!!). Going to slide through the holidays and take a new look at life on January 2. I'm a little excited and a tad scared. So there. I went first. Your turn to share.

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  24. Everyone in your community had a good comment but Joy and Juliana said what I wanted to say but much better. Glad to see your post this morning. I hope there is a small measure of comfort to know we're not "over" Lucy (or Hank) either and share in your sadness.

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  25. I think it was Queen Elizabeth who said "Grief is the price we pay for love." - a wise woman who clearly loves animals and still manages to ride at the grand age of 91. She's seen a lot.

    2016 and 2017 have sucked royally, so I (optimistically) believe we are all due for a period of less roller coastery, less emotionally upheaved times. What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?!

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  26. It's so good to see a post from you. It was a great love and so has caused great grief. We all understand. As we say in New Zealand, Kia kaha. (Stand strong.) PS. This concept is simpatico with as many tears as need to fall. Hugs.

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  27. Nice to see you and your blog back again!

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  28. Everyone has already said what I want to say, so I won't repeat their words. A great group of followers you have! I check your blog every day, because it is the only blog I've found that amuses me, has beautiful photography, wonderful animals and a great story, even when it is sad. I understand the loss of a beloved pet. So grieve, and know that we grieve with you. Cheryl in Ohio.

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  29. You are back, that is so good! And gorgeous Johnny with you! (he seems in a bad mood though) If I remember well you have a crochet cushions project

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  30. Your previous commenters have great advice for you and I hope you truly enjoy retirement. Just think, no more hours a day st a computer working for someone else.l. Also, maybe you can sleep in until 7 if the herd allows!

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  32. I have to echo what Rain said in her post. You are a talented writer, you need to write a book. You probably don't remember, but about 3 years ago I said the same thing in a comment. The book is already written- all your posts along with all the photos. Bestseller!!! Connie

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  33. Hi Linda, have been looking and waiting for you to post something, miss reading your posts, but totally understand. The bad times make us appreciate the good. Is it too early to start to look for another equine? I feel right along with you....I have her picture hanging in my kitchen. This too shall pass.......I keep thinking....hugs

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  34. An American in Tokyo12/5/17, 12:57 AM

    I'm glad to hear from you, even random thoughts!
    I AM looking forward to hearing about what you will do after you retire!
    I am also dealing with things, but one day at a time, eh?
    Sending you virtual hugs and a big cup o' coffee! =D

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  35. I do want to hear about your problems - heartbraking ones, mundaine one, boring one - all of them.
    Ofcourse you're not 'over' Lucy. Silly girl.
    Always here and always happy with a post.
    love from Amsterdam

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  36. Sigh.... I would love to have something profound to say, but my brain is not cooperating. I love what Brigette reminded you and I need to get it on a plaque! I don't imagine that the tears will stop anytime soon and I am sure that some of those tears are for all the other wonderful 7MSN souls that have gone on before. Thanks for peeking out and saying hello. You and your crew have touched the lives of so many. Hugs, friend and we look forward to hearing about what comes next!

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  37. I think about you every day, and know just how hard it is to loose something so close to your heart. Took my goat to the vet yesterday for an ultra sound, because it is suspected she is with "kid". The gal at the front desk told me that she would list Squeakers under her name instead of just "goat". She knows each and every one of my critters are FAMILY! Not just Livestock! And THAT is EXACTLY what they are, FAMILY! So it is very hard to loose one! Oh, and Squeakers landed in my lap to Babysit, but I have a gut feeling she is now mine, Forever! Prayers that each day will get easier and that the memories you hold dear, will bring you comfort instead of heart ache!

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  38. An American in Tokyo12/5/17, 7:50 PM

    P.S. - I love that shot of JCC!! Did you get level to him to take that angle? It's great!

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  39. Life has many surprises in store for us, seasons come and pass on by, good times and bad wash over us, emotions of all kinds ebb and flow. This all lets us know we're alive, and the more difficult times both make us stronger and help us better appreciate the good times. You will heal with time, Linda, and while you are in the process, know that your internet tribe is always with you in thought. -- Mindy (a fellow native Ohioan)

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  40. It will get better, as you know, but as you also know, it won't ever go away completely. The open wound heals over but leaves a scar that twinges when the wind blows a certain way. I've always thought that if I needed cardiac surgery they'd first have to get past all the animals wrapped tightly around my heart -- yours is the same way, no doubt. Much affection from here. But hot dog! what is it now? 27 days? a little over 3 weeks till FREEDOM. Woot!

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  41. My heart still hurts for you for the loss of your beloved Lucy. I think all of us here know what it's like to lose a "heart and soul" companion. The tears will stop in due time and you will be blessed with all the lovely memories of her. I hope retirement is all that you hope it will be -- a new and exciting chapter of your life. I retired a few years ago and so enjoy not being ruled by the morning alarm clock. I'm still figuring my way . . . and take it one day at a time. Wishing you all the best and look forward to the stories you'll have for us here. Take care of you!

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  42. Grief is wicked, it can be constant, it can take your breath away just when you think you are done grieving. It is a bitter bite and it can be relentless. I know all to well. Be good to yourself, be kind to yourself, let yourself grieve. We are here to shed our tears with you and cheer you on to the next chapter of your life as you enter retirement! HUGS.

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  43. Oh yes, wonderful to have a new post from you. I check in every day - yours is the first blog I ever followed and you feel like family to me. Your critters, too. All of us who have welcomed you into our lives feel your loss - hell, I still miss Deets - and we know all too well how much it HURTS. But it does get better with time - slowly, slowly, but it does. And retirement! What a great thing! I'm in my 5th year of retirement, from a job so stressful it left me with a mild case of PTSD, and it took me the whole first year to get my new bearings and realize it was truly and finally over. Then I took a deep breath and started thinking about what I want this final segment of my life to be like. However long or short, it will be, now and forever, ALL MINE. It's heady stuff, girl, and I can't wait to see where yours takes you. Blessings and much love to you and yours.

    Christina from Albuquerque

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  44. I'm retiring in 7 days. So excited. I watch for your posts. Look forward to seeing ones from your retirement.

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  45. I like that outlook on life. You will be ok! Excited for your next chapter :)

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